It looks like Bellator 158 will have a change in its fight card as welterweights Paul Daley and Douglas Lima will take the headline spot for the event’s debut at the O2 Arena in London ending the long speculation as to who will replace Kimbo Slice in his supposed match against James Thompson.
Kimbo Slice passed away Monday and with the turn of events promoter, Paul Hennessey had to shake down their locker room in search for a suitable replacement. Former UFC champion Tito Ortiz was even asked to fill in for Slice’s spot but stated that he is not available cited he is out of shape and will have little time to prepare for the fight.
Thus, leading to the total shakedown of the fight card to push through with the event which is rumored to be dedicated to Kimbo Slice, who has been an institution in the MMA world.
Hennessey added that they have not agreed to have Kimbo Slice’s son to take his place for the said event. He added that they will have to keep on negotiating with other fighters, but it is most likely that Thompson will not suit up for their London gig and will most likely be at ringside to see who could be his next suitable opponent.
In a press statement that as reported by MMAJunkie, former welterweight world champion Lima (26-6) has agreed to fight Daley (38-13-2) after an undisclosed injury forced Josh Koscheck to withdraw from the highly anticipated matchup. Another matchup to watch is between Michael “Venom” Page against Evangelista “Cyborg” Santos while co-main events will also feature heavyweight fighters.
For the heavyweight division, it will have Linton Vassell against Francis Carmont while Mark Godbeer will face James Mulheron.
“We will have to wait a little longer for the highly anticipated faceoff between Daley and Koscheck. The 33-year-old now directs his attention to ‘The Phenom’ as he looks to add to his five-fight winning streak. A native of Nottingham, England, ‘Semtex’ has recorded wins in nine of his last ten fights, with eight of those victories ending in a knockout. A four fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Daley has put his stamp on the welterweight division, posting a 4-0 record with three knockouts, including his most recent first round finish of top contender Andy Uhrich in the main event of ‘”Bellator 148: Daley vs. Uhrich.”’ the statement reads.
“Bellator 158: London” will be broadcast free on SPIKE UK and Channel 5 in the United Kingdom, while in America the card will air FREE on SPIKE. Exact broadcast details for the event will be revealed in the near future. Tickets are on sale now and start at only $57 (£40). They are available at TheO2.co.uk or The O2 Box Office.
With the passing of Kimbo Slice, both Daley and Lima will get the chance to show their skills as they have been given the opportunity to headline a fight outside of U.S. soil, which will also be an opportunity to win more fans for themselves.
Photo Courtesy: UFC.com/Paul Daley